Co-op internships work: Hobb’s story

NOTE: This is the final article in a series titled, UALR Co-op Works, highlighting the successes of students who have jump-started their careers by landing internship positions with local companies through the UALR Cooperative Education Internship and Placement Office.

LaToya M. Hobbs, a 2009 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, was a studio art major when she decided that landing an internship could help her meet her goal of pursuing art as a career.

LaToya Hobbs, co-op internshipThanks to the advice of one of her art professors, A.J. Smith, Hobbs applied for an internship through the UALR Cooperative Education Program and secured a position with Hearne Fine Art/Pyramid Art Books and Custom Framing.

“I assisted with the general functions of the gallery and book store as well as special projects such as the production of Collaborations: Two Decades of African American Art; a catalog highlighting the gallery’s featured artists,” Hobbs said.

According to Hobbs, her internship at Hearne Fine Art also taught her the importance of organization and effective communication, skills she has used to advance her career.

“These components were vital to my success in my prior role as a teaching assistant at Purdue University and my current role as a full-time faculty member at Maryland Institute College of Art,” said Hobbs.

Hobbs recently became a professor of art in the Foundations Department at MICA after earning a master’s of fine arts from Purdue University. Her artwork is featured in both national and international exhibitions, from Chicago to San Jose to Costa Rica.

Through her experience as an co-op student, Hobbs said her interactions with local artists made a lasting impression on her.

“Seeing their work and being able to connect and network with them had a tremendous effect on my personal development as an artist from both a creative and administrative standpoint,” she said.

Hobb’s work in figurative imagery addresses the ideas of beauty and cultural identity and has also been featured in Transition: An International Review, a publication of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.

To learn more about internship opportunities, go to UALR Cooperative Education Internship and Placement Office.

To support the newly established Jesse Mason and Gail Reede Jones, M.D. Endowed Scholarship for Co-op interns, or to attend the UALR Cooperative Education Program’s 20th Anniversary event at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, go to

To read the other articles in this series, go to Fahlenkamp’s storyDixon’s story, and Burton’s story. 

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